Francis Cooke was born in 1583 probably in England. He is described in Leiden Walloon church marriage records dating from 1603 as a "woolcomber out of England". He married Hester le Maheiu in Leiden, Holland with marriage intentions published 20 July 1603. While in Leiden, Francis and Hester were members of the Walloon church. Between 1611 and 1618, the Cookes were members of the Pilgrim Separatist congregation in Leiden.
Francis and his oldest son John, came on the Mayflower to Plymouth in 1620. He left behind his wife Hester and his other children Jane, Jacob, Elizabeth and Hester. After the Colony was founded and better established, he sent for his wife and children, and they came to Plymouth in 1623 on the ship Anne.
The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the colonists, and signed on November 11, 1620 by 41 of the ship's 101 passengers, including Francis Cooke. The painting below depicts Francis Cooke signing the Mayflower Compact.
The Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 8, p23 notes that "Francis Cooke died the seauenth of Aprill, 1663."
Francis Cooke is my 10th Great Grandfather. His son John, who also came to America on the Mayflower is my 9th Great Grandfather. John married Sarah Warren whose father, Richard Warren also came to America on the Mayflower. Richard Warren is my 10th Great Grandfather.
Notable descendents of Francis Cooke include Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, Dick Van Dyke, Richard Gere, (George) Orson Welles and Brian Douglas Wilson, Dennis Carl Wilson and Carl Dean Wilson from the Beach Boys.
Notable descendents of Richard Warren include Ulysses S. Grant, Alan B. Shepard, and Sarah Palin.